Friday, June 27, 2014

Boxwood for Year Around Interest

Japanese boxwood, Buxus microphylla is hardy to USDA Zone 5. It has been grown in the United States since about 1890 and is the most adaptable of all Boxwood. Leaves are glossy, 1/2 inch wide by 1 inch long, have medium green color when grown in shade. It is an open, quick-growing shrub which can reach 8 ft tall. Plant width is often difficult to determine because of naturally occurring layering. Japanese boxwood is heat tolerant. Pruning can be done to shape plants and increase density any time of the year except six weeks before the average date of the first frost in the fall.

I wrote the above on this blog about 3 years ago. I love Boxwood. I do not love the pruning they require to look nice. There are more than 75 Boxwood here and they all crave pruning.

 One of three I transplanted last year for a more cohesive effect. Many of these are rooted cuttings that were just tucked here and there. Some lived, some died.

Last year I noticed that Boxwood used at the Chelsea show were pruned into squares and rectangles and fewer meatballs. The year before they were huge cloud shapes. This year we're back to carefully clipped rounds. My prediction is that columns are in the future.  Just in case, I am encouraging young Boxwood in the Upper garden to grow into columnar shapes.

This little box is largely unpruned. Boxwood in the Upper Garden lends structure where except for the Azalea hedge and an occasional Camellia many of the plants are deciduous like the Variegated Hydrangea.

These two  are more rounded like the bigger, older specimens nearby. See the glimpse of pink?

Phlox. Every year I mean to divide these and have more of the gaudy pink, midsummer when there are fewer blooms in the Upper Garden.

I am just about over the grassy looking foliage in every picture. I used to think it looked great because it was green during the winter. That was before it started taking over the beds. Crocosmia species, with a lovely orange bloom that attracts butterflies is about to be corraled and given a spot of its own where it doesn't try to choke out young plants and grow through shrubs.  I've pulled out handfuls. I'm about to start pulling baskets full of it, leaving just the ones with the best bloom spikes. 

Late winter.

Early Spring.

This little hedge has been every shape, including
'chickens' on the top.

This morning's chores including pruning the bottom limbs of the Camellia sasanqua on the left where they take off the hat of He-Who-Mows when he drives under. The boxwood hedge at right is on my list of things to prune, soon.

The plant in the center held a surprise this morning.

Crinum Jagus
They smell of Vanilla.

1 comment:

  1. I remember your boxwood chickens! I don't have any, I don't like their smell.


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